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The Seventy Great Mysteries of the Natural World

Unlocking the Secrets of Our Planet

Michael J. Benton

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Over 60 of the world’s most eminent scientists – from France and Germany to Italy and the Netherlands, from the UK and USA to India and Australia – give us privileged insights into their cutting-edge research and findings


Why do mammals rule the world? How did the eye evolve? What is the largest living organism? Why do we have five fingers and toes? What will Earth's climate be like in the future?

More than 60 eminent scientists from all over the world give us privileged insights into their cutting-edge research into subjects such as our origins, evolution, bio-geography and environments, animal behaviour, climate change and the possibilities for our future.

Through fascinating essays and superb illustrations you can journey from the core of the Earth to the top of Mount Everest, learn about microbes living without oxygen in the deepest oceans and the remarkable ways in which bees communicate, investigate the secrets of animal movement and migration, the rigours of life in the desert and how many species there may be in existence.

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'A treasure trove of wonders … a triumph of simply told stories … a superb source of cutting-edge ideas'
BBC Wildlife Magazine

'Wonderfully illustrated short essays by a galaxy of scientists … there is an enjoyable mystery for everyone'
New Scientist

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 26.0 x 20.0 cm

Extent: 304 pp

Illustrations: 368

Publication date: 20 October 2008

ISBN: 9780500251430

Contents List

Origins • The Earth • Evolution • Biogeography and Environments • Plants and Animals • Animal Behaviour • The Future of the Planet

About the Author

Michael J. Benton is Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. He has written over 40 books, including Vertebrate Palaeontology, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Dinosaurs and When Life Nearly Died.

List of Contributors

Michael J. Benton